Waterline Flushing

Fire hydrant flushing helps ensure the highest quality water possible

workers flushing waterline outsideThe flushing program is a necessary part of ensuring the high quality of Springfield’s drinking water quality. However, the flushing process can cause some service disruptions. For example, during this time, customers may experience low water pressure and/or discolored water. No health risks are associated with the discolored water, which is partly caused by a fine, dark purple sand found naturally in the city’s aquifer that accumulates over time in water transmission lines.

“Hydrant flushing is important to our water system’s health, and confirms the operation of hydrants and valves,” says Dave Embleton, Springfield Utility Board’s water quality program manager. “We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work through their area.”

Tips showing how customers can work around these temporary changes are included below.

Customer Tips

  • Customers should avoid running their tap water, and avoid using their washing machine or dishwasher if they see a crew flushing a hydrant on their street. Tap water used during the flushing process may have sediment that causes discoloration. When laundering clothes, wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first.
  • If customers notice discolored water, simply shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes, allowing it to work its way through your pipes. If it is clear, it can be used.
  • In some cases, slight discoloration may linger for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water, and does not affect water quality. There is no health hazard associated with discolored water from hydrant flushing.
  • If water pressure or water volume seems low, check the faucet screens for trapped particles.
  • Flushing a hydrant generally takes between 15 minutes to an hour.
  • Customers can call the Water Service Center at (541) 726-2396 for more information or for the exact location of flushing activities.